THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEM ON THE PERFORMANCE OF MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS IN BUEA MUNICIPALITY
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In this study, the researchers looked into how accounting information systems affected the performance of a group of selected microfinance banks in Buea. The study’s precise aims were to first investigate the relationship between data storage and performance, and then to investigate the relationship between information quality and organizational performance.
Using a descriptive survey approach, the researchers recruited personnel (accountants and managers) from the selected microfinance institutions in the Buea municipality as participants in the study.
The information was gathered from 30 correspondents through the use of questionnaires. The data was analyzed using SPSS, and descriptive statistics, such as frequency tables, were utilized to illustrate the information. Data storage and performance, according to the findings of the study, have a statistically significant positive association. The findings also revealed that there was a good association between the quality of information and the performance of the selected microfinance institutions in Buea, according to the findings.
In general, the findings demonstrated that the accounting information system has a statistically significant impact on the performance of selected microfinance institutions in the Buea municipality as an overall whole.
For microfinance institutions to operate efficiently and effectively, the study recommended that personnel be thoroughly trained before being allowed to use the accounting information system. It also recommended that microfinance institutions obtain an accounting information system that encompasses the entire structure of the organization rather than adopting a system for each department, which is very expensive.
CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO
1.1 The study’s historical context
Microfinance is becoming a more important asset class for investors as the industry grows (Biesland, mersland and Strom, 2015). Globally, the microfinance business is continuing to grow, and it is predicted to overtake the banking industry as the world’s largest banking market in terms of the number of customers in the not-to-distant future (Bies et al 2015).
The field of microfinance has piqued the interest of both academics and policymakers over the last three decades. The industry has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and in certain countries, it has emerged as a significant sub-sector of the official financial markets (Asseta, Hermes, and Meesters, 2010).
Microfinance institutions, according to Robenson (1999), are defined as a development tool that grants or provides financial services and products such as very small loans, micro-savings, micro-insurance, and money transfer to assist the very or exceptionally poor in expanding or establishing their businesses.
MFIs in Cameroon may be traced back to 1963, when the St. Anthony’s discussion group founded the country’s first credit union in the Northwest Region, which was the country’s first MFI (Long, 2009). This concept was established at Njinikom, in the northwest part of Cameroon, by a specific Rev. father Anthony Jansen, a Roman Catholic priest from Holland, who was stationed there at the time.
However, it was not until the late 1980s, as a result of a substantial crisis in the commercial banking sector in Cameroon, which resulted in several major banks becoming illiquid and/or insolvent, that microfinance and microfinance institutions gained traction.
On a global scale, the microfinance industry has experienced significant growth, and as the number of microfinance institutions and customers continues to grow, the regulation of the industry becomes a topic of interest, given the high level of debate surrounding the long-term viability of these institutions. Higher rates of economic growth, as a result of a more efficient microfinancial sector, may eventually result in greater governments’ ability to relieve poverty through public policy.
MFIs in Cameroon continue to suffer a number of issues, despite increased government regulation and ongoing efforts to improve the performance of these MFIs. The regular news concerning the microfinance sector in Cameroon is the constant closure of various microfinance facilities or the sudden and spectacular bankruptcy of some MFIs, which has a negative impact on the confidence of clients in the sector.
Business development, growth, and expansion are becoming increasingly important in today’s competitive business climate, prompting managers to seek more advanced management tactics aimed at improving decision-making in their firms. The majority of these tactics are geared toward preserving business operations in the face of rapid technical advancements, increased public awareness, and increasingly demanding clients.
One of these tactics is the implementation of information systems within a company’s operations (Davoren, 2019). The Accounting Information System (AIS) is a structure that a business uses to collect financial data and to store it in a centralized location where accountants, consultants, business analysts and managers can access it. It is also used by auditors, regulators and tax agencies to process financial data and to report it.
People, procedures, data, software, and hardware are the primary components of an AIS implementation. Program such as the Alpha software, Peachtree, Quickbooks, and Sage software are examples of this type. As important as an accounting information system is, it is also necessary because it assists businesses in meeting their legislative requirements, which include the preparation and publication of specific accounting records. A firm’s accounting information is safeguarded from theft by doing data analysis and providing dependable and accurate financial information. Accounting information systems were initially implemented in the business world in 1955, when a corporation purchased its first computer that was solely dedicated to accounting functions.
A number of organizations adopted electronic data interchange (EDI) technology as a means of streamlining accounting operations in the 1960s, when the transportation industry in the United States created the technology. In addition, the Peachtree and QuickBooks software packages are introduced in the years 1978 and 1998, respectively.
Recently, the aims of corporate organizations have moved from earlier eras when they were solely concerned with profit-making and survival to more broad-based goals. Modern commercial organizations and financial institutions strive for more than just profit maximization; they also strive for competitive advantage, long-term sustainability, the ability to survive in a turbulent business climate, complete customer satisfaction, and efficient decision-making. It is impossible to achieve these goals without the assistance of technology.
A financial institution’s Accounting Information System (AIS) is one of the most important technological systems (AIS). The Automated Information System (AIS) is a collection of devices that are used to perform a variety of typical corporate operations, such as accounting, human resources management, and inventory management.
Comprehensive automated information systems (AIS) are defined by their ability to computerize business operations and, more crucially, to create data in real time. Improved adaptation to changing environments, improved management of arm’s-length transactions, and increased competitiveness are the primary advantages associated with optimal usage of AIS in a business. Organizational performance is comprised of the actual output or result of an organization as compared to the desired outputs of the organization (or goals and objectives).
According to Conway (2009), performance is the activity that ensures that goals are completed in the most effective manner possible. Performance of an organization can be gauged based on the financial statements produced by the organization. Organizational performance can be viewed from two perspectives: from the standpoint of financial performance and from the perspective of non-financial performance. The financial performance of a company is used as a general indicator of the overall financial strength of the company.
Profitability is the primary financial indicator used to evaluate the performance of a company in this work. Although other metrics like as earnings per share, profit margin ratios, liquidity, return on capital, and return on equity are included, they are not required. Non-financial performance, on the other hand, is a metric that provides information on a company’s performance in ways other than monetary or monetary terms.
Despite the fact that non-financial metrics cannot be expressed in monetary terms, this measure can be both quantitative and qualitative. The following are examples of social reporting: defined social objectives, product and service variety, learning and growth; employee happiness; staff training; and social reporting As a result, the focus of this research will be on the financial performance of microfinance institutions.
1.2. Identification of the problem
The demand for knowledge is essential for concrete decision-making as well as for the continued growth of an organization. There has been a significant breakthrough in the development of accounting information systems that may be tailored to the needs of microfinance institutions in order to facilitate their operations.
A huge volume of data can be resolved and processed through the automation and processing of accounting information systems by financial institutions, resulting in fast, high-quality, and accurate information. According to Oguntimehin (2001), organizational performance is defined as the ability to create results that are desired by the organization.
This represents a severe omission, particularly given the rapid advancement of technology. MFIs must shift away from relying on a manual approach to bookkeeping accounting, which can be inefficient, resulting in delays in the processing of reports, difficulties in retrieving information, poor data quality, and storage, delays in investment decisions, and low productivity being experienced, among other things (Maureen, 2014).
However, if the accounting information system is not widely adopted by all or many microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cameroon, the majority of MFIs will fall behind and be outcompeted by their competitors, or they would fail altogether (Augustine, Maurine and Jian 2014). The primary goal of this study is to determine the impact of AIS on the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Buea municipality.
1.3. Objective of the study
1.3.1. Main objective
To examine the role of the accounting information systems on the performance of microfinance institutions in Buea municipality.
1.3.2. Specific objective
- To ascertain the impact of data storage on performance
- To determine the relationship between information quality and performance
1.4. Research question
1.4.1. Main question
What is the role of the accounting information system on the performance of microfinance institutions in Buea municipality?
1.4.2. Specific question
- Does data storage affect performance?
- Is there any relation between information quality and performance?
1.5. Research hypothesis
H0: There is no significant relationship between AIS and the performance of selected micro finance institutions in Buea municipality.
Ha: There is a significant relationship between AIS and the performance of selected MFI in Buea municipality.